Archives

Tagged ‘Destabilization‘

Amnesty International Whitewashes Venezuelan Opposition Abuses

TeleSUR English

March 31, 2015

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

Amnesty International’s latest report on Venezuela calls for justice for the dozens of people killed during the unrest that shook the country a year ago, while using sleight of hand to deflect attention away from those responsible.

“The Amnesty International report documents events of February 2014 when thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets, resulting in the death of 43 people, including eight law enforcement officials,” Amnesty said in a press release accompanying the release of the report’s executive summary.

While the full report was unavailable online at the time of writing, the executive summary unequivocally laid the blame for 2014’s violence at the feet of state security forces, but ironically chose to shy away from actually admitting how those 43 people died.

“The use of unnecessary or disproportionate force is precisely what exacerbated the wave of tragic events last year,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty’s Americas director.

The summary levels blame at both security forces and government supporters. The latter were accused of engaging in state sanctioned human rights abuses. However, Amnesty’s allegations don’t match the facts. How did those 43 people die?

At the time of the protests, the independent news organization Venezuelanalysis.com listed a total of 40 deaths, 20 of which were deemed to have been caused by opposition barricades, or opposition violence. The deaths included people gunned down while trying to clear barricades, ambulances being blocked from hospitals by opposition groups, and a motorbike rider who was decapitated after opposition groups strung razor wire across a road. A similar death toll count by the Center for Economic and Policy Research reflected a similar consensus: while security forces were indeed responsible for a few deaths, the opposition groups were hardly peaceful. Around half the victims of the 2014 unrest were either government supporters, members of security forces or innocent bystanders.

While condemning the government for supposedly cracking down on freedom, the report shied away from any criticism of the opposition’s intentional restriction of movement through the use of barricades, widespread intimidation and attacks on government supporters, and repeated attacks on journalists ranging from state media workers and community radio stations to international media. For example, in March 2014, a mob of anti-government protesters beat journalists working for organizations such as Reuters and AFP. One photo-journalist, Cristian Hernandez, was beaten with a lead pipe, but was rescued by state security forces.

Another journalist that witnessed the beating tweeted, “They protest for freedom of expression and against censorship, and they attack photo-journalists … for no reason? Where’s the coherence?”

Unlike that witness, Amnesty chose not to question why incidents like this took place – instead preferring to turn a blind eye to widespread human rights abuses committed by anti-government groups.

Indeed, none of this is included in Amnesty’s executive summary. teleSUR did try to contact Amnesty for clarification as to whether any of this would be included in the full report, but received no reply.

One possible explanation is that Amnesty prefers to criticize governments, rather than call out substate actors. However, this doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. On Feb. 20, 2015, Amnesty International issued a report accusing both Boko Haram and the Nigerian government of human rights abuses. Then on March 26, 2015, they accused Palestinian militants of war crimes, after also condemning Israeli forces for human rights abuses in 2014. Clearly, in many parts of the world, Amnesty is capable of critiquing both sides of a conflict – but not in Venezuela.

At first, the question of what makes Venezuela unique may seem baffling, but it all became clear after I spoke to a former Amnesty employee, who asked to remain anonymous. He explained quite simply that within Amnesty, the biggest priority isn’t human rights. It is securing funding – mostly from wealthy donors in the West.

Amnesty isn’t alone – other former NGO workers I’ve spoken to in the past have made similar comments. Some have gone as far as arguing NGOs will engage in projects or research they know is next to worthless to the people they claim to defend, so long as it produces a photo opportunity that could woo Western donors. These former workers affirmed that human rights are important to many NGOs; they just take a back seat to fund-raising.

The claim that Amnesty and other NGOs are primarily concerned with money may seem excessively cynical, but a glance at pay for those at the top of the organization shatters any rose tinted glasses. In 2011, Amnesty’s 2009 decision to hand their outgoing head Irene Khan more than more than £533,000 (around US$794,000 at current exchange rates) in a hefty severance package sparked a public outrage. The payout was worth more than four years of Khan’s salary. In late 2012, Amnesty again found itself in the spotlight after it announced plans to offshore much of its workforce from the U.K., sparking a bitter showdown with the Unite workers’ union. While management claimed the offshoring would put a higher proportion of their workforce on the ground in the countries they report on, workers accused the NGO of trying to cut costs, while failing to adequately assess the physical risks to workers. One worker told the Guardian newspaper the deal could turn out to be a “cash cow” for Amnesty.

Assuming cash speaks louder than justice, the reason why Amnesty is willing to criticize the Venezuelan government but unwilling to lift a finger against the opposition suddenly makes perfect sense. While condemning Boko Haram or Hamas is palatable to much of the Western public, criticizing Venezuela’s wealthy, Westernized opposition would be edgy at best, financial suicide at worst. On the other hand, while Venezuela’s government has plenty of supporters in Latin America, it doesn’t have many friends within the well-heeled elite of Western nations. The latter, of course, are prime targets for appeals for donations. In the competitive world of NGOs, Amnesty can’t afford to risk tarnishing its appeal to wealthy donors by accusing Venezuela’s opposition of human rights violations.

In a surprising way, this makes Amnesty an inherently ideological organization, it just doesn’t have its own ideology per se. Instead, because of its pursuit of the wealthiest donors (generally liberal Westerners), Amnesty reflects the ideology of middle and upper class Westerners. It’s staunchly vanilla liberal: willing to call out miscellaneous African militias, but unwilling to accuse an element of Venezuela’s middle class of giving birth to a violent movement. It’s willing to criticize Israeli colonialism in the name of liberal values, but allergic to revolutionary politics driven from the bottom up by the world’s poor. Amnesty doesn’t reflect the ideology of the poor and repressed, but rather of its privileged, yet guilt-stricken donors.

Unfortunately, Amnesty International’s whitewash of the right-wing opposition’s human rights abuses in Venezuela is symptomatic of a deeper crisis in the world of NGOs, where fierce competition for funding means adjusting the message to suit Western audiences — and occasionally letting human rights take a back seat.

 


		        

Amnesty International To Instigate Regime Change In Eritrea

SpyGhana

January 7, 2015

by Thomas Mountain

Secret internal correspondence from Amnesty International has been published detailing a plan to instigate regime change in the small east African country of Eritrea funded by a grant from the US State Department under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International

This is not a new charge, having first come to my attention in the fall of 2011 when a journalist in London called me one morning asking for my comments on a press conference by Amnesty International denying charges that the Eritrean government was supposed to have made that Amnesty and HRW had been involved in sending a secret mission to Eritrea in an attempt to destabilize the government.

The problem was the Eritrean government had not made any such charges, at least not that I had heard of. Operating on the maxim made immortal by Claude Cockburn, father of the Cockburn clan of intrepid journalists, that “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied” I set off in search for more on this story.

It wasn’t until that evening that Eritrean TV broke the story with excerpts from the Amnesty International document they claimed to have. The next night EriTV broadcast more highlights from the document and then the story just disappeared. It seemed that the curtain had dropped on another episode in the rancorous relations between the Eritrean government and the human rights corporations. Left with nothing hard to go on I could only file this one in the “hope to follow up on someday” file.

Now, three years later, the letter has been published and it really is a bombshell. “Our intended goal is that by December of this year [2011] the regime of [Eritrean President] Issayas Aferwerki should be shaking and ready to fall”.

This was going to be done thanks to a “reasonable grant from the US State Department” to “bring about [regime] change…as has happened in other African and Arab countries”….

The letter is signed by one Catherine Price, Africa Special Programmes, Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street

Priority Status; Stricktly Confidential Resonance; Urgent

To; Mr. Adams Subi Waitara

Amnesty Tanzania Section.

The letter was to inform him that he had been “appointed to be part of a 4 man delegation to Eritrea beginning 6th to 16th September, 2011”. The letter lists the other members of this very secret group including an Amnesty staffer who was then working for HRW.

The letter goes on to say “Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch…have received a reasonable grant from the US State Department…” and that “the main aim therefore of this Mission to Eritrea is to provide funding and to help in setting up websites and computer centers…”.

The letter warns about the need for absolute secrecy, “Do not operate, at any time in groups of more than two in the day time…” and “Do not take any photos with normal cameras, except the micro cameras that will be provided for you…”. It informs Mr. Adams that “Mr. Georges Gagnoy, Human Rights Watch Africa Director, will be monitoring the events and activities online from Nairobi, [Kenya] and will offer any emergency assistance should it be needed.”

Deja Vu? Cuba and Venezuela watchers will be reminded of similar programs funded by the US State Department to destabilize the governments of those countries with the goal of “regime change”. The bombshell this letter drops is that for the first time Amnesty International and HRW are caught in writing accepting “a reasonable grant” from the US State Department to do its dirty work.

What makes this letter all the more believable are the links between HRW and the Hillary Clinton mafia that have been the subject of a protest letter signed by several Nobel Peace Laureates. In particular, one Tom Malinowski who goes back and forth between being a speech writer for Hillary and a senior staff member at HRW.

Those of us in the Eritrean support community know Mr. Malinowski all to well for his history of vociferous slanders and other fabrications about Eritrea going back some 15 years or more. It would be all to easy for Malinowski to use his high level contacts in the Hillary Clinton State Department to arrange a “reasonable grant” for his cohorts in HRW and Amnesty International to carry out some undercover dirty work on behalf of Pax Americana.

Amnesty International and HRW are major corporations, with HRW being funded for several years now to the tune of $100 million a year by George Soros who has a long history of working with the US intel community in former Soviet Union republics ie the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. Neither organization is “democratic” or transparent. The Board of Directors of both organizations elect themselves and answer only to the handful of 1%ers that fund their enormous budgets. No one can really tell you just how much and from where these human rights corporations get their funding from.

Has anyone ever seen an in depth audit of either of these outfits multimillion dollar operations budgets?

Hillary, Amnesty, HRW and regime change in Africa. Its about time such matters are being brought to the light of day.

Amnesty_International_Conspiracy_against_Eritrea_is_finally__documented_and_exposed-1

 

 

[Thomas C. Mountain has been living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached when he is somewhere that has access to the
internet at thomascmountain at gmail dot com or more successfully by mobile at 2917175665.]

WATCH | Eritrea: On the Hit-list of the West Because it Serves Eritreans Instead of Serving Empire

WATCH | Eritrea: On the Hit-list of the West Because it Serves Eritreans Instead of Serving Empire

Eritrean Open Mic Interview – Mr Andre Viltcheck – Novelist – Filmmaker

Video uploaded December 6, 2014

To compliment this interview, the following is an excerpt from the Counterpunch article “Eritrea – African Ideological Ebola for Imperialists” (Weekend Edition December 12-14, 2014) by ANDRE VLTCHEK:

In the car, I am thinking about what Mr. Omar defined as ‘human rights’. Here, it is in direct contrast to what the expression stands for in the West. In the United States and in Europe, ‘human rights’ were created as an ideological tool, a weapon in the Cold War period. In Eritrea, it has a very simple meaning: feeding the people, giving them free education and medical care, building new roads, supplying them with electric power….

Eritrea is under fire; it is clearly on the hit-list of the West, because it serves its people, and because it is refusing to aid the Empire and the corporate world.

 

The West is using its toxic propaganda to the maximum, in order to smear the country.

 

It is also systematically boosting, financing and manufacturing ‘the opposition’, as it does all over the world.

 

Periodically, huge campaigns from the BBC and other sources of Western propaganda get pointed, directly, at Asmara.

 

For instance, at the height of the “coup” that never was (January 2012), African Strategies served as a defying force that helped patriots around the world counter the barrage of disinformation regarding Asmara and the Government of Eritrea spread by the so-called “experts”.

 

That is the time when the Western news channels and Al-Jazeera were reporting on the ‘rebellion’ in the capital city.

 

My local camera-person, Mr. Azmera, summarized the event:

 

“As the ‘coup’ was taking place, I was just leaving the Presidential compound, after working there for some time. I walked out, ate lunch… Then at 4PM I was called and told: ‘Al-Jazeera is reporting that there was a coup in Asmara!’ I just ignored them, and walked home.”

 

Read the full article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/12/african-ideological-ebola-for-imperialists/

 

***

 

 

[Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: Fighting Against Western Imperialism‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.]

 

Fresh Evidence of How the West Lured Ukraine Into its Orbit [or, The U.S. Demonization of Putin]

Demonization Campaign Against Putin {

Above: Newsweek: August, 2014: The Putin demonization campaign in full swing.

The Telegraph

August 9, 2014

By Christopher Booker

How odd it has been to read all those accounts of Europe sleepwalking into war in the summer of 1914, and how such madness must never happen again, against the background of the most misrepresented major story of 2014 – the gathering crisis between Russia and the West over Ukraine, as we watch developments in that very nasty civil war, with 20,000 Russian troops massing on the border.

For months the West has been demonising President Putin, with figures such as the Prince of Wales and Hillary Clinton comparing him with Hitler, oblivious to the fact that what set this crisis in motion were those recklessly provocative moves to absorb Ukraine into the EU.

There was never any way that this drive to suck the original cradle of Russian identity into the Brussels empire was not going to provoke Moscow to react – not least due to the prospect that its only warm-water ports, in Crimea, might soon be taken over by Nato.

And still scarcely reported here have been the billions of dollars and euros the West has been more or less secretively pouring into Ukraine to promote the cause: not just to prop up its bankrupt government and banking system, but to fund scores of bogus “pro-European” groups making up what the EU calls “civil society”.

When the European Commission told a journalist that, between 2004 and 2013, these groups had only been given €31?million, my co-author Richard North was soon reporting on his EU Referendum blog that the true figure, shown on the commission’s own “Financial Transparency” website, was €496?million. The 200 front organisations receiving this colossal sum have such names as “Center for European Co-operation” or the “Donetsk Regional Public Organisation with Hope for the Future” (the very first page shows how many are in eastern Ukraine or Crimea, with their largely Russian populations).

One of my readers heard from a Ukrainian woman working in Britain that her husband back home earns €200 a month as an electrician, but is paid another €200 a month, from a German bank, to join demonstrations such as the one last March when hundreds of thousands – many doubtless entirely sincere – turned out in Kiev to chant “Europe, Europe” at Baroness Ashton, the EU’s visiting “foreign minister”.

However dangerous this crisis becomes, it is the West which has brought it about; and our hysterical vilifying of Russia is more reminiscent of that fateful mood in the summer of 1914 than we should find it comfortable to contemplate.

 

Read more about “US NGOs in Ukraine” – “Washington’s Foreign Policy Tools or Biden Visits Kiev (I)“, April 23, 2014:

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/04/23/us-ngos-in-ukraine-washington-foreign-policy-tools-biden-visits-kiev-i.html

 

Raíces desestabilizadoras de FF AA de EE UU en Ecuador [2]

Descubriendo Verdades

Descubriendo Verdades

viernes, 25 de abril de 2014

by Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy

http://nuestroamericano.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/fuera-usaid-carajo2.jpg

Los cuerpos policiales ecuatorianos han sido favorecidos por la sistemática ayuda financiera y logística norteamericana, entre ellos el Grupo Operaciones Especiales (GOE) de la Policía Nacional Ecuatoriana, el Grupo Intervención y Rescate (GIR) de la Policía Nacional Ecuatoriana, la Unidad Lucha Contra el Crimen organizado (ULCO) de la Policía Nacional Ecuatoriana, el Grupo Especial Móvil Anti-Narcóticos (GEMA) de la Policía Nacional Ecuatoriana y la Unidad Antisecuestros (UNASE) de la Policía Nacional Ecuatoriana. Muchos miembros de estos organismos policiales han establecido fuertes lazos de colaboración, incluidos de pertenencia, con agencias norteamericanas como la CIA, el FBI, la DIA y la DEA durante estos últimos años y se han convertido en fuentes del espionaje estadounidense en Ecuador.

Según un documento aparecido el 5 de noviembre de 2008, elaborado por la Comisión de investigación de los servicios de inteligencia militares y policiales, creada el 15 de mayo de 2008 por el presidente Correa, mediante el Decreto 1080, y titulado “Informe de Penetración de la CIA en las Fuerzas Armadas y Policía Nacional”, existen abundantes pruebas de la actividad de espionaje norteamericana dentro de las FF AA y la Policía Nacional del Ecuador.”

Talk Nation Radio: Jean Bricmont: Keep Humanitarian Imperialism Out of Syria

David Swanson’s Blog

August 25, 2013

 

Jean Bricmont is the author of Humanitarian Imperialism, and of a recent article on CounterPunch called “The Wishful Thinking Left.”  Bricmont is a member of the Division of Sciences of the Royal Academy for Sciences, Letters and Arts of Belgium.

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jean

You can say no to attacking Syria here: http://bit.ly/LWd85d

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

The Left vs. the Liberal Media

Media Lens debunks the BBC’s humanitarian interventionists

Racist Amnesty International Trying to Incite Terror Against Eritrea

AI

TesfaNews | Eritrea

May 12, 2013

By Amanuel Biedemariam

Amnesty International is a warmonger

Amnesty International is a warmonger

 

It has been a while since the international community has been assaulted by the criminal entity Amnesty International (AI) using human rights as excuse to demonize nations and leaders of specific nations targeted for destabilization in pursuit of US and Western hegemony. The reality however, Amnesty International has taken the amnesty out of humanity and became a killing tool by using criminals they call dissidents, political opposition and human rights activists to do their dirty jobs of terrorizing people, religious and national institutions in countries of interest. 

Oddly, the spokespersons that AI, Human Rights Watch and other Western pseudo-rights groups assign to speak on behalf of Africans are almost always Caucasian, with absolutely no connection to the countries they speak against on human rights matters. Not much is required from these players that are misleading Americans and the world about the issues they research and present. And there are no regulations or laws that govern their activities.

For the most part, all they do is establish expertise in the area of interest by researching these countries based on safety of their homes from schools and universities of the West. And when they go to other countries for research, it is normally a Western puppet country that they use to buttress their credentials. Then, all their work is considered credible and solid. Furthermore, when the so called researchers or employees of AI, HRW, Reporters Without Borders and ilk present their report, it gets special attention from the “mainstream” media.

USAID: A Front for CIA Intelligence Gathering

USAID-is-CIA-395x300

Watch: Thomas Tighe Describing the Relationship between USAID and NGOs

President and CEO of Direct Relief International, Thomas Tighe, in a provocative piece of video describing the unsavory relationship between international NGO’s and the U.S. Government – specifically that of USAID (the US Agency for International Development). The organizations only get funding according the their acquiescence to the government’s terms and conditions. Therefore, the ‘beneficent’ relationship is inextricably linked to the criteria of Western imperialism.

In 1995, self-sufficient Eritrea, another target of US destabilization, also expelled USAID in order to protect and build Eritrean autonomy.

+++

Excerpt from the article written by Bill Keisling published on Sept 2, 2007 by the Yardbird Reader

“Is there a tie-in to foreign intelligence in all this? Public records show that USAID has long been a front for CIA intelligence gathering, as well as a conduit for CIA funding to foreign governments and agencies.

The USAID’s infamous Office of Public Safety, for example, received cover and funding from the USAID while directed by the CIA. More information on all this was released in July 2007 with the publication of the CIA’s long-suppressed “Family Jewels” set of documents. (Pages 607 to 613 of the Family Jewels papers describe this program as a “joint CIA/USA training program.”)

“According to a 1973 document revealed in the Family Jewels CIA documents, around 700 police officers were trained a year (by the Office of Public Safety), including in handling of explosives,” Wikipedia summarizes. “The United States has a long history of providing police aid to Latin American countries. In the 1960s the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Public Safety (OPS) provided Latin American police forces with millions of dollars worth of weapons and trained thousands of Latin American police officers. In the late 1960s, such programs came under media and congressional scrutiny because the U.S.-provided equipment and personnel were linked to cases of torture, murder and ‘disappearances’ in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

“In Washington, DC, the Office of Public Safety had remained immune to public embarrassment as it went about two of its chief functions: allowing the CIA to plant men with the local police in sensitive places around the world; and after careful observation on their home territory, bringing to the United States prime candidates for enrollment as CIA employees. The OPS’s director in Washington, Byron Eagle, was close to the CIA.”

Former USAID Tobias was believed to have held a Top Secret security clearance, the result of what is known as a supposedly rigorous “Single Scope Background Investigation,” or SSBI.”

‘Is there a tie-in to foreign intelligence in all this? Public records show that USAID has long been a front for CIA intelligence gathering, as well as a conduit for CIA funding to foreign governments and agencies.’

Click here to download pages 607 to 613 of the CIA Family Jewels document describing “joint CIA/USAID training program” (650k)

Right click here to download the full CIA Family Jewels set of documents (702 pages, text searchable, 24mb, external link)

+++Read the article in its entirety here.

Also see CIA Spying Under USAID Cover, Fears NAB (Pakistan, April 29, 2011)

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau has unofficially conveyed its apprehensions to some leading security agencies of the country that certain USAID officials, apparently monitoring and executing development work in the tribal areas and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are spying for the CIA.

+++Read the article in its entirety here.

 

 

Nationalising Dignity: Morales’ Adios to USAID

Nationalising-Dignity-Morales-Adios-to-USAID_full_view

The Broker | Connecting Worlds of Knowledge

May 7, 2013

by Antonio Carmona Báez

This recent “exercise of sovereignty”, as expressed by Morales, is consistent with the political trajectory of decolonising development since the indigenous leader came to power in 2006. The nationalisation of industries, the push for regional integration and repudiating Western intervention have been met with diplomatic aversion expressed by representatives of US foreign policy.  Foreign aid channelled through USAID programmes, whether rendered directly to local governments or to non-governmental organisations, has been linked to destabilisation and insurgency efforts launched from such sectors of civil society as politicised trade unions, environmental groups and health networks.